Taipei city govt pledges to protect Pinoys from racist acts
Filipino workers and visitors in Taipei City were assured Wednesday of protection by the city government from possible racist actions by Taiwanese outraged over the May 9 fatal shooting of a fisherman by Philippine authorities.
Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin said his city would work to ensure the safety of the Filipinos even as he appealed to Taiwanese not to take out their anger on them.
"The public should stay rational and treat Philippine workers and visitors with friendly attitudes because they are innocent. We do not want any irrational reactions to complicate Taiwan’s handling of the incident," Hau said, according to a report on Taipei Times.
His appeal came amid reports of Filipino workers being "treated viciously" by Taiwanese in the wake of the incident, the Taipei Times report said.
On Tuesday, netizens shared a Facebook message from the Trans Asia Sisters Association asking Taiwanese not to shift the blame of the killing to Philippine citizens.
Some Filipino workers had been quoted as saying their fellow workers were being beaten or shouted at on the street in many parts of Taiwan.
Taiwan was outraged over the fatal shooting of a fisherman during an encounter with a Philippine patrol vessel in disputed waters last May 9.
It demanded that the Philippines apologize over the incident, compensate the fisherman's kin, punish those guilty, and enter into a fisheries cooperation agreement soonest.
Enhanced police patrols
Hau said the Taipei Police Department will enhance patrols in areas where Filipinos gather, including the Taipei Railway Station and Zhongshan N Road.
The city’s Department of Labor Affairs will also assist any worker who files a complaint, the Taipei Times report added.
But Hau also reiterated his condemnation of the Philippines’ failure to meet Taiwan’s demands and take full responsibility for the incident.
He said letters had been sent to Taipei’s sister cities of Manila and Quezon, to retract Taipei's invitation for them to participate in Taipei’s annual dragon boat festival in June.
Taipei also suspended city-to-city exchanges. - VVP, GMA News